Health Tips

Make it a daily challenge to find ways to move your body. Climb stairs instead of using the escalators or elevators. Walk your dog; park and walk, play with your kids; walk in the park, ride to work, toss balls with friends, garden, mow the lawn. Exercise is not only a fitness tool, it's a stress buster and will help you sleep better and think clearer. Join a class or re-learn a hobby. Get rid of the notion that it has to be an hour in the gym or a 30-minute aerobic dance class or yoga or martial arts… that’s great when you have the time, but start small and start today. Move more and take pride in yourself.

Avoid the obvious such as fried foods, burgers and other fatty meats (i.e. pork, bacon, ham, salami, ribs and sausage). Dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk and cream should be eaten in low fat versions. Nuts and sandwich meats, mayonnaise, margarine, butter and sauces should be eaten in limited amounts. Most are available in lower fat versions such as substitute butter, fat free cheeses and mayonnaise. But do take the time to think about essential fats… the fats that you NEED. These are found in nuts, fish, olive oils etc.

Yellow hands, stained teeth, a feeble heart, hair that stinks – what’s there to like about smoking? Ever since 1960 when the US Surgeon General announced that smoking was harmful to your health, people have been trying to cut down. Just recently, we’ve been seeing smoking bans in bars in many countries. Cut it out, add years to your life and

Easier said than done, stress busters come in many forms. Some techniques recommended by experts are to think positive thoughts. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you like.

(i.e. Soak in a hot tub; walk on the beach or in a park; read a good book; visit a friend; play with your dog; listen to soothing music; watch a funny movie. Get a massage, a facial or a haircut. Meditate. Count to ten before losing your temper or getting aggravated. Avoid difficult people when possible. Practice dealing mentally with the situations that aggravate you. Become aware of your breath and spend time consciously relaxing ALL your muscles. Pollution – avoid it and protect yourself from it

Your home, your office, your car, the roads you walk on. It’s not just smoke and fumes, it’s chemical emissions, gas, airborne allergens (dust, dog hair, danda etc.). If you can't live in a smog-free environment, at least avoid smoke-filled rooms, high traffic areas, breathing in highway fumes and exercising near busy thoroughfares. Exercise outside when the smog rating is low. Exercise indoors in air conditioning when air quality is good. Learn what affects you in your environment. Plant lots of shrubbery in your garden, or on your windowsills. It's a good pollution and dirt from the street deterrent. Take time out away from the humdrum of the city… journey to the countryside, the sea-side or just a local park. Remind yourself you live on a green, thriving planet.

Hydrate yourself. 6-8 glasses of water a day. Make sure it’s filtered, or good quality water from a bottle. It’ll keep you more alert, more youthful and more vitalised.

Recent studies make a direct connection between longevity and teeth flossing. Nobody knows exactly why. Perhaps it's because people who floss tend to be more health conscious than people who don't? Either way, it is almost certainly going to drastically reduce your dental bills. You’ll look better and feel better.

While recent studies show a glass of wine or one drink a day (two for men) can help protect against heart disease, more than that can cause other health problems such as liver and kidney disease and cancer. It can be fun, but make sure you exercise temperance and moderation.

There's a definitive connection between living well and healthfully and having a cheerful outlook on life. It’s a choice you make. You can either be happy or sad… your mind creates your mood. It’s all a matter of focus. Try this little trick whenever you feel down, start by recognising everything that is good in your life, starting from the most basic things i.e. you are currently breathing, you have a brain, you have sight, your have hearing, you can communicate, someone somewhere loves you, you can learn, you can walk etc. etc. gradually building up to the things you can really do well and the things you will have the opportunity to do or become. In other words, 99% of most people’s lives are pretty good, they just choose to focus on the negative, which is what gets them down. Think positive, it doesn’t cost any more.

The link between genetics and health is a powerful one. But just because one or both of your parents died young in ill health doesn't mean you cannot counteract the genetic pool handed you. Your family history will provide all sorts of clues to everything from allergies/intolerances, to artistic potential. Learn from you forefathers and respect what you can predict, but don’t live in anticipation of doom.

Avoid sugars and refined carbs

White sugar, flour, bread, cakes, pastries… not only are they empty calories that will only help you put on weight, they are also detrimental to your wellbeing. Sugar has an impact on your immune system and on many bodily functions (from dental decay to sugar cravings or energy dips and spikes, all the way through to Diabetes and Obesity). Cut right back, switch to wholemeal breads, pastas and use honey or at least molasses/brown sugar as a sweetener. Even better wean yourself off all sweeteners, you’re sweet tooth was a gift from nature, to motivate you to eat more fruit and vegetables. You won’t find a lollipop in nature.

If you can't be perfect, do as good as you can. Don't just give up on good eating habits because it seems too hard. Make sure you eat some fresh, raw fruits and vegetables EVERY day. Snack on raw fruit/veg, have salads with every meal, use your local market, squeeze juice for the mornings, or chuck some bananas in a blender. It’s not difficult, but your body will really thank you for it.

Don't just take what comes along. Your healthcare depends most on you, but it's your job to find physicians who you can relate to, understand and trust. Take your time to find the right person, ask questions, talk to friends and fellow sufferers, don’t settle for anything but the best for you.

It is an increasingly important part of your healthcare. Always be careful to maintain it, make sure you have adequate cover for all eventualities.

There is a lot of incomplete, inaccurate, or simply wrong information available. This may be from relatives, acquaintances, charlatans, or the news media. Don’t take anyone’s word for it, listen and think. It’s your body and your health.

There are really no stupid questions. None of us were born knowing the answers. Ask, and you can put your mind at ease and do the right things for your health. Read, research and talk to people. There are lots of events, courses, conventions, discussion groups, internet resources, clinics and forums.

Slow down, chew with purpose: Take at least 20 minutes to consume a meal. Taking longer to eat will make you feel as though you are eating more. Enjoy the conversation and companionship. Take the time to savour your food. Digestion starts in the mouth, where the saliva starts to break down the food it encounters and the stomach starts to .release enzymes in preparation to digest the food.

A great way to track your nutrition is through keeping a food diary. A food diary is a record of what and how much you eat at each meal, and the calories involved. You should also keep track of your liquid intake, especially the amount of water you drink each day. Keep track of your activities relative to your eating each day. The food diary will help you to control your calorie intake, and also to pin down the activities that may trigger your eating.

An easy way to reduce your fat intake for a successful low fat diet is to slim down some of the foods that you eat. You don't have to give up eating meat, but you should try to opt for leaner meats. Eat leaner cuts of beef, skinless chicken breasts, and fish. Substitute eggs with egg whites to reduce fat and cholesterol. Switch to non-fat milk and avoid greasy foods.

Did you know that meditation can help lower blood pressure? It can. In fact, practicing meditation can also help you manage stress. A great thing to do when you’re feeling stressed (and maybe that blood pressure rising) is to stop, go someplace quiet, take a few deep breaths, and meditate. It will do wonders for you. You’ll feel relaxed and refreshed.

The Chinese and the Indians believe that the breath is the key to living a healthy life and there are several studies that seem to support this. By learning to breathe deeply and with control, you will enhance your immune system, calm your mind, alleviate stress, invigorate your body and steady your speech. Yoga, Tai Chi and Chi Gung emphasise full, complete exhalation. This is important to eliminate all stale air and to increase capacity for inhalation of more fresh air. You should also inhale slowly filling the belly (abdominal breathing) and then the chest, before pausing briefly and then exhaling completely.